NIH Efforts Recognized at 2021 Sammies
Posted on November 2nd, 2021 by Dr. Francis Collins
It was a banner year for NIH at the 2021 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals celebration, also known as “the Sammies,” which honors “feds” who make significant contributions to the health and well-being of Americans. NIH’s Gary Gibbons and Eliseo Pérez-Stable brought home the 2021 COVID Response Award from this year’s gala held at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. Gibbons, director of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and Pérez-Stable, director of NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health, were honored for addressing the higher COVID-19 rates in the nation’s underserved communities. The two worked tirelessly to develop and implement federal programs for the nation’s underserved communities that increased testing and participation in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine trials. I had the privilege of presenting Gary and Eliseo for their awards. After exiting the Kennedy Center stage, I paused backstage for this photo showing Eliseo (left) and Gary (middle). There was even more good news for NIH at the October 29 Sammies event. The 2021 Federal Employee of the Year Award went to Barney Graham, deputy director of NIH’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), and Kizzmekia Corbett, formerly with the VRC and now at Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston. They received this honor for leading the groundbreaking research that led to an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine was developed in record time and has protected hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Congratulations one and all! Credit: Joshua Roberts for the Partnership for Public Service/Kennedy Center.